ISSUE: An approved applicant for, Certified Residential has decided he/she is not prepared to pass the Certified Residential examination. The application was approved for Certified residential and he/she has submitted a request that the approval be downgraded to State Licensed.

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 112, section 177, simply states that "An application for original certification and licensing, renewal certification and licensing, and examination shall be made in writing to the board on forms approved by the board." 265 CMR 3.01 (7) states "When an application is fully processed and ready for Board action, it shall be reviewed by the Board or a subcommittee to determine whether the applicant is eligible to sit for a licensing or certification examination. When the Board has made its decision, the applicant will be notified thereof in writing. If an applicant fails to provide any all of the required or requested documentation necessary to complete the application, pay required fees, appear before the Board, or cooperate with an audit of claimed experience within six (6) months of the date the applicant is notified by the Board of such a requirement or request, such application shall be considered denied and a new application and application fee shall be required to be submitted for license qualification." Neither the statute nor the regulations prohibit the Board from re-designating or downgrading an examination approval.

Although this is not prohibited, the Board must be mindful to maintain clear, concise and accurate records. It would not be a good practice to allow applicant to repeatedly move from one level of approval to another without restriction or proper measures to ensure the integrity of the process. Moreover, an applicant that expresses concern about his or her own abilities at a specific level of licensure or fails the examination at that level and requests a downgrade should not be subsequently returned to the higher level of approval with a new review of his or her education and experience.

Therefore, the policy is as follows. When an approved Certified General or Certified Residential applicant seeks to obtain a downgrade of the approval issued to them by the board he or she must petition the Board in writing within one year of the initial approval date. The petition must explain the reasons for the downgrade and include the original examination approval certificate issued to the candidate with the initial approval. The candidate may only request to be downgraded one level from Certified General to Certified Residential or from Certified Residential to State Licensed. The original approval period of two years will continue to run without interruption and will not be extended. At no time will the candidate be entitled to an up-grade back to the higher level for which the initial approval was given. The candidate is responsible for ensuring that prior to taking the examination, the examination service has processed the downgrade and is properly registered for the appropriate examination. The applicant shall be responsible for any expenses assessed by the examination service in connection with the downgrade or failure to ensure his or her registration for the appropriate examination.